Archive for August, 2018

First-Time Car Owners Maintenance Tips

Sunday, August 19th, 2018

Congratulations! After months of budgeting and saving, you just bought your first car. Now, all you need to focus on is maintenance.

Keeping up with car basics is essential for first-time car owners to keep your car on the road for as long as possible.

Here’s what you should keep in mind:

Tire Pressure

Don’t get stuck on the side of the road with a flat tire! Keeping your tires properly inflated is one of the most important maintenance tasks. Ideally, you’d check your tire pressure once a month and before any long road trips. The best thing to do is keep a tire gauge in the car so you can do a quick check yourself. By checking your tire pressure regularly, you can find problems in your tires before they blowout in the middle of the road.

 Oil Change

Make sure you change your oil regularly. When your engine is not well lubricated by new oil, it can produce friction and heat, which can cause permanent damage to your car’s engine. How often you have to change your oil depends on the model and year of your car. Some models need oil changes every 3,000 miles while others can go 10,000 before they need one. You also have to keep in mind what kind of oil to use. If you have an older car with high mileage, it’s recommended you use the high mileage oil to keep your car running smoothly.

Car Battery

Your car’s battery will start to decline in performance after an average of four years. If you’re wondering about the state of your battery, a good indicator of the state of your battery is how quickly the engine turns over. If the battery seems labored when you start your car, the battery may be nearing the end of its life. To check the voltage of your battery, you can get a digital multimeter and inspect the battery once the car is turned off and the engine is cool. Another sign of decline is corrosion. The white, chalky substance forming around the battery means it’s time to get a new battery.

Coolant System

The coolant prevents your engine from overheating. Monitoring the coolant is crucial if you want your car to last for years. To check the coolant, check your owner’s manual and look under the hood when the engine is turned off and cool. The coolant reserve is usually a white or clear container. Try not to get this container mixed up with the wiper fluid container. If the coolant is near the “full” line, you’re good to go!

Getting your first car can be liberating and exciting! By following the tips above, you’ll make the most out of your first car and hopefully drive it for many years to come.

Looking for a reliable and affordable used car? Stop by Drive Casa! Our wide inventory suits every taste and budget.

How to Improve Your Credit Score

Sunday, August 5th, 2018

For lenders and financial institutions, a credit score is a good indicator of an individual’s financial responsibility. If your credit score is poor, this can make it harder for you to get financing for a car, a personal loan, or a mortgage. However, there are simple steps you can take to make sure your credit score is impeccable.

Follow the tips below and watch your credit score go from poor to excellent:

#1 – Check Credit Reports for Accuracy

Before you start paying off debts that are on your credit report, make sure those accounts actually belong to you. It’s possible that an account that does not belong to you has shown up in your report. To ensure accuracy, check each account and charges. If you don’t recognize one of the accounts, contact the lender directly. All you need to do is prove your identity and that account should be erased from your report. Once you have all your accounts in order, you can move on to the next step.

#2 – Clear Up Collection Accounts

Old debts can be easy to forget if you haven’t checked your credit report in a while. That old phone bill from college can come back to haunt you when you’re trying to buy your first home. Take a look at the debts that have been sent to collections. Call the collectors directly. If you can’t pay in full, ask if you can set up a payment plan that works for your budget. Your credit score will increase significantly once you lower your balance and settle old debts.

#3 – Get a Secured Credit Card

A great way to increase your credit score without much effort is getting a credit card. However, if you have a tendency to overspend, a secured credit card can give you a smaller line of credit that is easier to handle. Your credit line with a secured credit card will often depend on the deposit you provide. If you feel like $200 is a manageable line of credit, use that amount for your deposit. Plus, secured credit cards are designed for people who are trying to improve their credit. If your credit score is less than stellar, you may still have a chance of getting approved.

#4 – Pay Bills On Time

One of the best and easiest ways to show that you are financially responsible is paying your bills on time. If you usually pay your bills days or weeks after they’re due, it may affect your credit score. Take a look at your monthly bills and see if any service providers will allow you to set up auto-pay. This way, you won’t have to keep up with your bills and the money will be deducted from your account automatically each month.

#5 – Keep An Eye On Your Credit Utilization Ratio

Paying off your credit card balance on time is important, but keeping an eye on your credit utilization ratio can save you from losing points on your credit score. Ideally, you should keep your debt-to-credit ratio under 30%. You should also avoid closing any unused credit card accounts. This will affect your utilization ration percentage and would do more harm than good. However, if you do decide to close any consumer credit accounts, make sure you maintain a 15% utilization percentage without having that credit card.

Following the tips above will get you on your way to a better credit score and teach you invaluable lessons about personal finance. Good luck on your journey to a perfect credit score!

At Drive Casa, we want to get you financially fit. Stop by one of our locations and find out how we can help you get the car you want while raising your credit score.